Advice Column, Education

Toys R Us Launches a New Sensory Library with The LEARN Project

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Tongaat School for Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN) Officially Opens Sensory Library


Toys R Us has once again partnered with The LEARN Project this time to launch a new sensory library at a school in Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal.

The sensory library has officially opened to the community of Tongaat which holds over a thousand books, educational resources and provides an interactive library experience with the aim of awakening the imagination and bringing stories to life to the children who visit.

The LEARN Project is a South African non-profit trust with a vision of putting a book into the hands of every learner in South Africa to foster a love of reading and learning today, so that they may reach their full potential tomorrow.

The project aims to equip schools with reading books and to create sustainable libraries and classroom book corners. To date, LEARN has donated almost 81 thousand books, established 23 school libraries, and placed over 339 book corners in schools and organisations.

“The Tongaat School for Learners with Special Educational Needs sensory library is an interactive room filled with wonder, joy and knowledge with the purpose of encouraging learning through experience with the power of books,” says Roslynne Toerien, Co-Founder of The LEARN Project. “The wide variety of books contained in the new library include, touch and feel tactile books, auditory, light, sound, pop-up and number books and interactive story boxes with visual story aids that bring stories to life.”

In addition, she adds that the library also includes safe and comfortable spaces for learners to relax and read a book with cushions, weighted blankets, and textured rugs.

“Also contained in the library are sensory trays with textured toys and additional educational resources,” she says. “We ultimately wanted to create a learning experience never to be forgotten, one that awakens the imagination and brings stories to life.”

According to Catherine Jacoby, Marketing Manager at Toys R Us, “As an organisation we are humbled to have worked with The LEARN Project for several years, this is our second library we have created with the team and are fortunate to be able to empower and provide relevant resources to young children in South Africa as we raise leaders of future generations.”

“The power of play is a strong value at Toys R Us, and we believe that reading is a big part of this, children learn in different ways, this can be through using their imagination to bring a book to life or through touch, sound, visual engagement or play.”

She explains that the sensory library embraces different ways of learning and encourages children to grow in a safe and happy space that has been specifically designed for their needs. “As a brand we believe that every child has the right to learn and develop through play, sensory experiences are interactive and this space embraces children’s differences and provides an appropriate place for learning for children with special needs.”

“We want to thank everyone who purchased a Jolly colouring-in book from our stores during last month’s literacy month at each of our 50 stores nationwide, R5 of each book sold was donated towards this project and ensured that it came to life,” Jacoby says. “Literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning, and we look forward to continuing to make even just a small difference to The LEARN Projects goals.”

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